Brynn Karnes and Logan Cummings both said they want to help younger kids experience the excitement of the Highland County Fair like they have. That should not be hard to do after they were crowned queen and king, respectively, Saturday at the 58th annual Jr. Fair King and Queen Contest.
Both are seniors — Karnes at McClain High School and Cummings at Whiteoak High School — and both are longtime fair participants. But Saturday was the first time either of them had participated in a queen or king contest.
Karnes said she has not missed a Highland County Fair since she was 10 months old, but the only time she had seen a fair queen contest was when her sister, Tara Karnes, captured the crown in 2013.
“I have a love for the fair. It’s my favorite week of the year,” Brynn Karnes said. “ I thought if I could help some kids have a better week at the fair by serving as queen, it would be worth it. I have never missed a fair and I plan on never missing one.”
“I just love how you get to showcase your whole summer,” Karnes added. “We all spend all summer working on our projects and the fair is the place that everyone gets to come and showcase what we’ve done.”
Seven girls were in the queen contest and Karnes said it really did not bother her when the names of the three queen’s attendants were announced and her name was not among them.
“I was like, well, I guess I could be the queen or I could not,” she said. “I would have been happy either way because I got to enjoy the experience of doing it.”
And her reaction when her she heard her named called as queen? “I was just so excited to represent Highland County this week and throughout the year,” Karnes said.
Karnes is the daughter of Steven and Patti Karnes of Greenfield. She said that after high school she plans to attend college — probably either the University of Dayton, University of Cincinnati or Ohio University — and major in civil engineering.
Cummings said that while he had never participated in any type of king contest before, being a 4-H camp counselor for three years was what made him think it might be interesting.
“It was something I wanted to do because I wanted to be someone other kids looked up to,” Cumming said. “I work with kids through being a counselor and thought that being fair king would be a good way to talk to them. I look forward to being able to stand in the show ring this week and as kids walk by, handing them ribbons, because they always get excited.”
The son of David and Rachel Cummings of Seaman, Logan Cummings is a 13-year member of the Premier Showmen 4-H Club and president of the Mowrystown FFA Chapter.
He said he is excited to be fair king, but was feeling some butterflies as he waited for the king to be announced.
“I was a little nervous to be honest,” Cummings said. “I was excited, but I know there’s a lot more work to be done at the fair.”
Cummings said that after high school he plans to attend Wright State University as an undergraduate student, then transfer to Purdue University to study biomechanical engineering.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.